Bringing old photos to life
MINDEN — James A. Pattison moved to the Minden area as a young man in the 1880s. He spent the rest of his working life in Minden and surrounding communities, earning his living as a photographer.
From at least 1888 through at least the mid 1930s, Pattison kept his lens on history in the making. That is why the several boxes of his large glass negatives that eventually made their way into the possession of the Kearney County Historical Society hold so much information of interest to those who study the past.
But, how to see the images recorded on the heavy, 8-by-10-inch negatives using obsolete photographic technology?
Enter Minden resident Jack Hultquist, a retired agricultural engineer who now spends much of his time on history and genealogy projects and is an active Historical Society member.
Hultquist knew the cost of having the negatives processed would be prohibitive; still, he wanted to find a way to reproduce the images they hold. So he devised a multi-step procedure of his own to do the job, using his own, inexpensive digital camera and aging computer equipment he has at home.
"I've been working on this for about a year now," he said.